Tuesday, January 15, 2013

La rue St. Paul

My apartment in le 4ème arrondissement
La rue St. Paul

The past few days in Paris have been absolute madness. The word of the week seems to be "jet lag". I had no idea how exhausted I would be after travelling over 4000 miles from Chicago to Paris! I seem to be falling asleep at odd hours (17H à 1H last night), and I'm exhausted from walking around the different arrondissements. Yesterday we explored the two universities from which we can select classes: l'université Sorbonne and Paris VII Didérot. For me it's not really a choice since Paris VII is the only university in the program that offers Computer Science classes, however, I have yet to find any classes at all in my specialization (artificial intelligence and secure systems).

I have to say, it's odd being the only engineer in the group. Besides myself there are 3 or 4 hard science and math majors that are also having difficulty finding interesting classes in the Educo program. It seems that the program is mostly geared towards those who are studying the arts...we'll see whether I end up finding anything in my areas of interest.

Besides academic discussion the program managers have also taken the time to give us an intense crash course in French grammar. This course has not been very effective due to my jet lag and general lack of desire to do school work (Cornell doesn't start for another week!), but I hope that it will help me improve a bit before the real school work begins.

Due to the rainy, cold weather yesterday I did not get a chance to explore the tourist attractions in Paris as I intended, but I hope that today will be better for exploring! I have already walked around le quatrième arrondissement yesterday to see what exactly my neighborhood has to offer and it is beautiful! The métro is also incredibly useful, since missing a train will only set you back less than 5 minutes. Incroyable! In Chicago, it's quite ordinary to wait 15-20 minutes for the L to show up, so I am very pleased that all of the rumors were true about the Paris train system.

I believe that is all for today, but I will make sure to post more once school starts next week. I'm excited to meet all of my fellow classmates and finally find some computer scientists in these neck of the woods.

For photos, see my album An American in Paris.

A word of warning to those who would like to study abroad in Paris during the spring semester. It is COLD here. I did not quite understanding what that meant until I got here, but it means this: two sweaters all of the time and scarves, all of the scarves.

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